A snapshot of cultural competency education in US dental schools. Edit

Rowland, ML, Bean, CY, Casamassimo, PS.

J Dent Educ. 2006 Sep; 70(9): 982-90.

Most research focuses on medical education, so it was interesting to find an article regarding dental education. This study was an attempt to describe the status of cultural competency education in US dental schools. A questionnaire regarding cultural competency coursework, teaching, course materials, and content was sent to 56 schools, of which 36 responded. The majority of dental schools, 82%, did not have a specific stand-alone cultural competency course but indicated it was integrated into the curriculum. Interestingly, the results showed that few schools required faculty to have cultural competency training. However, considering that faculty serve as mentors for students, the importance of providing cultural competency training for them as well should not be overlooked. The authors also included the 30-question survey in the article. The importance of cultural competency education is well known, but how to integrate it effectively into the curriculum still remains to be found. Further research needs to be done and can likely be translated into medical education and the hospital setting.

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